In military training, recruits are put through a grueling course filled with obstacles such as hurdles, fences, walls, and ditches. All of these must be skillfully negotiated if they want to be successful in basic training.
Athletes and fitness enthusiasts use obstacle courses for cardiovascular exercises to get their blood pumping. This plays a big role in physical conditioning.
Obstacle courses are also beneficial to children. It helps them to develop strength and balance, memory and problem solving, sensory processing, motor skills and coordination.
If you are a resident of Georgetown, there is no need to join the military or go to a gym to get the same exhilaration. A walk through the streets of the capital city is enough to register a serious cardiovascular workout.
Undulating roadways, construction materials, household waste, abandoned vehicles and popup shops are just some of the encounters you will have.
Pick any street and you are bound to find building materials that you will have to navigate around. For starters, you have to dance around sand, jump over rocks and dodge the shipping containers that take up half the roadway. If construction is in progress, you can count on the presence of cement mixers, wheelbarrows and whatever else the building contractors see fit to make your life miserable.
Then comes the construction waste. Old wood, broken concrete blocks, and rusted zinc sheets lead the list of junk that awaits you on the side of the street.
Directly competing for space on the roadway are badly parked vehicles, abandoned derelict vehicles, garbage bins and the neighborhood car wash. Yes! You heard me. You can get your vehicle washed in the middle of all this madness.
If you somehow managed to avoid sweating during your workout, sprays from the roadside car wash can adequately simulate the effects of perspiration. No one will judge you for cheating.
The car wash's strategic location can also afford you a bath following the obstacle dodging exercise. It's your choice how you want to tap into the free treat.
The garbage bin obstacle is an interesting one. There used to be a time when you knew which day of the week garbage would be collected. Now it's a toss-up, so these bins are left on the street all week until the City Council remembers that picking up garbage is one of their functions.
Just ensure that you double-up on your face mask if you have to pass these bins. The scent emanating may literally take you breath away.
Pray that you have a strong heart. A cat or rat may decide to spring out of the bin at the exact moment that you walk by it. Excuse them. They are not trying to scare you. They are more afraid of you.
Unless you are an extreme athlete, stay away from Regent Street. Entire stores have popped up on the sidewalk and you will have to bring your A-game. Whether you are looking for underwear or a refrigerator, it is right there ready to be purchased or dodged, depending on which game you are in.
I briefly mentioned undulating roadways, but this was out of kindness. Pictures of some city streets could easily be mistaken for the lunar surface. With more than half a billion craters, the moon may be less challenging to navigate.
And then it rains! December-January and May-June are the months with the heaviest rainfall adding to the already challenging course. When the streets are not outright flooded, there are enough ponds to rival the great lakes in North America. Keep your long-boots on standby.
Finally, always be ready to jump out of the way of a speeding vehicle or the water that it splashes when the wheel drops into a pothole. You need to be spared for all the other surprises to come.
Parked cars bring no relief. The drivers always manage to leave them jutting out onto the roadway impeding the flow of traffic and slowing down your workout.
While people around the world pay a premium for personal trainers and to engage in extreme workouts, residents of Georgetown are given a free treat to a priceless experience.